Terrible Tornadoes…December 23

The next 7 days will be cool and dry. In light of the flooding and recent tornadoes, this is a welcomed pattern change as the new year begins.

Most all the storm surveys are in now from the terrible tornadoes that struck two days before Christmas.  There’s never a good time of year for tornadoes, but it’s particularly heart breaking when this kind of disaster strikes during the holiday season.

This map shows how far reaching the outbreak was in the southeast with tornadoes in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.


The National Weather Service wrote this overview.

“An unusually powerful upper level trough moved across the eastern United States on December 23, 2015, spawning widespread severe weather from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes. Several tornadic supercell thunderstorms developed across northern Mississippi and western Tennessee, which then moved rapidly east-northeastward at up to 70 mph across Middle Tennessee during the evening hours on December 23. These storms produced 4 long-track tornadoes that caused 2 deaths and at least 7 injuries. Only 7 tornadoes had been previously recorded across Middle Tennessee in the month of December from the 1800s through 2014, easily making this the largest and worst December tornado outbreak in Middle Tennessee history.”


The tornado that caused the deaths in Middle Tennessee was an EF2 in southern Perry County near Linden. The home where this couple died on Hwy 412 was totally destroyed.  Channel 4’s Carly Gorden spoke with a Dickson woman who found papers from that home nearly 40 miles away. This story shows how far debris from a tornado can travel.click here

Blog Perry County Tornado

Two people died when this home was destroyed in Perry County.

An EF3 tornado touched down just east of the Hardin County/Wayne County line about 2.5 miles southwest of the town of Lutts. Winds were estimated at 157 miles.  7 people where injured, the post office and a church were destroyed and numerous homes were damaged or destroyed. The tornado left a path through Lawrence, Lewis and Maury Counties too.

Blog Wayne County tornado damageBlog lawrence03 damage

Another EF1 tornado moved into Wayne County from Lauderdale County in Alabama. This tornado destroyed a home.

The last tornado in Middle Tennessee was and EF2 that touched down near the DeKalb/Smith County line. Winds were estimated at 125 mph. It caused some damage to homes and uprooted trees.

One of the worst tornadoes of the day was an EF4 that struck near Holly Springs, Mississippi.  There were 9 deaths and numerous injuries. This tornado had peak winds of 170 mph estimated and was on the ground for 75 miles.  The twister moved into Tennessee crossing Hardeman and McNairy Counties.

blog benton_county_122315_EF4

There was another Tennessee tornado that struck Madison County. It was an EF1 tornado with 100 mph winds.  There was damage to a garage.

The images are hard to look at.  This is what’s left of someone’s home, the place where they felt safe, the place where they built their lives.  I pray for all those effected.

Lisa Spencer





About Lisa Spencer

Lisa Spencer is the chief meteorologist at WSMV Channel 4 Nashville. You can catch her weathercasts weekdays at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm and 10pm.
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3 Responses to Terrible Tornadoes…December 23

  1. Cameron Fry says:

    Great post, Lisa! Thank you for all you do.

  2. Lisa Spencer says:

    Thank you so much for your kind comment. I appreciate you watching Channel 4. Happy New Year!

  3. Pingback: Warm, Wet and Wild…Now Cold | 4WARN Weather Blog

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